Valentines is probably one of the top most celebrated “holidays” in the world. Filipinos in the Philippines celebrate Valentines Day like the Western countries do, like giving of flowers, out on romantic dinner and card giving.
But Valentines Day is more than those romantic gestures, and the only “fact” that most of us mere mortals know about is this day was named after a Christian saint called Valentine. There is more to it, and what we usually know is only half-truth.
Come on, let’s dig deeper together about Valentines Day.
1. The two Saint Valentines.
- Valentine of Rome (Valentinus) – The Roman priest who performed wedding that was illegal during the Roman Empire.
- Valentine of Terni – Also a priest, but martyred and beheaded by the pagans.
2. There are three Valentines Day. Yes, there are two. I am as surprised as you are. February 14 – popularized by Western Christians. The other less popular days is July 6 (Valentine of Rome) and July 30 (Valentine of Terni) by Eastern Orthodox Christians who are mostly in Eastern Europe.
3. Pagan origin of Valentines Day. The Romans had a celebration called Lupercalia happening every February 13 to 15, in honor of Faunus, the god who protects the sheep and goats against the wolves. When Christianity was already established in Rome, Christians in order to Christianize the pagan festival, they replace it with Valentines Day.
4. The oldest recorded “valentine” poetry was by Charles d’ Orléans (Charles the Duke of Orleans) addressed to his wife, after he was captured in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée…
The English translation:
I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine
5. In the Philippines, Valentines Day is called Araw ng mga Puso or directly translated as “Day of the Hearts”.